Commonwealth Honors College Faculty Lecture Series: A Cure for Severe Asthma
October 1, 2013
UMass Amherst Campus
Handicap access available
Wilmore Webley, associate professor of microbiology, presents "A Cure for Severe Asthma: New Hope for the Future."
Asthma is a major public health problem, affecting over 300 million people worldwide. Its prevalence has increased considerably over the past three decades. Almost 50% of all asthma patients have a type that does not respond well to the classic treatment of a corticosteroid inhaler. Webley's research has determined that patients who do not respond well to this treatment most often have Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteria in their lungs which directly leads to lung damage. His research has confirmed that antibiotic treatment can eliminate symptoms in patients with Chlamydia-induced asthma.Webley's talk presents how his laboratory research provides new hope for patients with hard-to-control asthma.
Wilmore Webley has made significant contributions to the field of allergy and immunology. His research aims to understand the role of Chlamydia bacteria in causing and exacerbating asthma and to develop strategies to prevent or treat Chlamydial infections. His laboratory was one of the first to culture Chlamydia samples from children with severe chronic asthma and has since shown that Chlamydial infection early in life increases the risk for asthma onset later. Human studies conducted recently confirm that treatment of respiratory Chlamydia in severe asthma patients result in
significant reduction or elimination of asthma symptoms in 86% of patients. A Fulbright Scholar, Webley authored three editions of Biology of AIDS. He has also published numerous articles in reputable international journals. His 2005 manuscript in the Blue Journal was named by the American Academy of Pediatrics as one of the best articles in allergy and immunology for the publication year. Webley earned the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008.